Would you go to the end of the world to help someone? That’s the challenge being posed by a new west of Ireland initiative.
Benny Cunningham, of Monksland, Athlone, a founder member of StepIn - a Roscommon-based service helping people with intellectual disabilities live independent lives - explained: “In medieval times, pilgrims thought the edge of the world was Finisterre in Northern Spain; that’s how it came to get its name. They would walk on to‘the end of the world’ after making their pilgrimage to Santiago.”
Now that trek from Santiago to Finisterre is being recreated by StepIn in May to help further its work. It sets up networks for vulnerable people who want greater independence outside traditional residential care. Two networks have already been founded - in Athlone and Roscommon town - and more are planned.
StepIn was set up by the Brothers of Charity in Roscommon. And it was six members of their staff who were the inspiration for the fundraising idea.
The fundraising trek to Finisterre, via Muxia, starts in Santiago on May 12. It’s 113kms long and takes four days by the recommended stages, but it’s an independent challenge so walkers can go at their own pace and timeline. Participants make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. StepIn is also encouraging participation from fundraisers who may wish to walk on different dates in April or May.